I was fascinated by the announcement that we would have a blood moon tonight (Monday). The appearance was to be about two o’clock in the morning and I’ll set my clock and get up for this phenomena—Don’t get out of bed in the middle of the night for many things.
The only time I’ve had the opportunity to see a blood moon before was about 12 to 15 years ago and that was only by accident. Ed and I had been so busy we’d not heard the prediction of that one. It happened that it was on a night The Substitutes were rehearsing in Coffee-ville First Baptist Church. The rest of the band and others were going to watch, so after rehearsal, Ed and I stayed to watch, also. Christie Hawthorne, Candace Stevens, Ed and I just sat outside the church and watched. The best vantage point in our area was reported to be somewhere out in the lake area and Daniel Hawthorne, Daryl Burney, Clay Ashford, and I think, Steve Cummings, went on out there to get the full show. I wasn’t ready for what I saw—it was amazing. The show was so good that Christie woke the twins up to watch. The moon looked like a giant pumpkin (it’s really more orange than red or was on that night) in the sky.
This is caused by a complete eclipse of the moon, which doesn’t happen often. However, the prediction is that there will be four this year—I may be losing lots of sleep.
Another weather activity that will be closely watched this week (and for me has been for several weeks now) is tornadic action. This weekend will be the 30th anniversary of our 1984 Easter weekend tornado. This time of year always brings apprehension about tornadoes, but when the date of our 1984 storm falls on Easter, we become even more concerned.
I’ve often been asked about my remembrance of that afternoon and night, along with the days following.
I didn’t see anything—I was home. I was much more concerned about the Delta because Jim was at Delta State in Cleveland and the reports were that there were storms in that area. When Ed left me, all we knew was that it was raining very hard, and Main Street was known to flood. He went down to make sure everything was off the floor at the office. He got only as far as Central, traveling on 315. Parked in the late Ruth Bryan’s backyard and walked to the office and then on to his Moms on Prospect. This was before cell phones, and all the phones in the Valley were out, so I didn’t know a thing.
I was home alone and by this time the lights had gone out. Couldn’t get anyone to answer their phone—didn’t know that I had one of the few working phones in the area and had no idea that we’d had a tornado.
First I knew of this, was when my Mom called from Courtland to see how we were. I said, “Fine, only I have no lights.”
She then told me we’d been hit by a terrible tornado and I really didn’t believe it, but she insisted that it was all over the Memphis news. Then I heard the sirens and they didn’t stop. Told her they’d better come because I was without a vehicle—Jim’s car was in the shop and he’d taken mine home with him.
Most of the family arrived in short order—I’m sure it was the fastest they’d driven from Courtland to the Valley. Don had a radio phone in his pickup, so he came in it, and the rest of group came in other vehicles. Don, Bo, and Rance picked me up and we went into town. Going in the back way, we finally wound around to Central and finally came to a halt by First Baptist—we were on a mountain of debris. We got out and walked through a wall of water—it was raining that hard. Got to the office and Ed had checked on his mom and was back there. We were okay, but I was sure there would be hundreds dead. I’m still amazed that no more people lost their lives that night. The damage was tremendous.
My favorite stories of the storm were the ones where no one was injured: Ludie playing Mary Poppins, standing on her front porch with a big black umbrella and just flying off that high porch into Clay Street; the Jim McMinn family, along with his mother-in-law, the late Mrs. Rose Porter, took a flight in his pickup over Bill White’s Service Station, which was completely destroyed.
The report was that they flew and then came back down, landing on the wheels. There were so many more miraculous stories and also many devastating ones.
Do hope we make it safely through this anniversary weekend—one tornado in a lifetime is enough.
Heard that the Junior Auxiliary Gala was a huge success and, as always, much fun. I sure did hate to miss it. One of Mom’s sitters had a stomach virus, so I had to sit day and night.
David got one of the silent auction items. I always enjoyed that auction so much, and bought many items through the years–all of which were bargains and all of which I’ve enjoyed.
Heard the entertainment was great and I sure did hate to miss it. Food and fellowship are always wonderful at these events.
The weather is so unpredictable. For four days I ran the air conditioner and now it is predicted to be 32 degrees again on Wednesday morning. I had washed and folded all my turtlenecks and sweaters and would have had them stored for the summer, except I got interested in a movie. Guess God was taking care of me, because it’s a lot easier to pull one from the pile on the dresser than have to get out the ladder and retrieve one from the high closet shelf.
Also was about to pull out my sandles—think I’ll wait another week.
Mom and I had a good weekend. She ate well, walked better and said she felt good. Thanks to all of you who continue to ask about her and remember her in your prayers.
By Betty Shearer